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Despite Hiccups, Coker Still Confident in Same-Day Tournaments

Scott Coker

As expected, Bellator Dynamite 1’s four-man, one-night light heavyweight tournament hit a few bumps in the road before crowning its title contender.

Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal, who was victorious in the night’s first semifinal bout, was not able to continue toward the final round against fellow semifinal victor Phil Davis due to a rib injury.

Luckily for Bellator and the fans inside the SAP Center in San Jose, the promotion had a backup plan created for this exact situation. But that backup plan — which required the semifinal loser to advance into the tournament — also failed them, as Linton Vassell would also not be allowed to continue on in the tournament.

Instead, the promotion turned to backup plan No. 2 — Francis Carmont.

When it was all said and done, Davis was the man standing atop the mountain, securing a shot at Liam McGeary’s 205-pound crown. Reaching this outcome certainly wasn’t easy for Scott Coker and Bellator, but this won’t stop them from hosting tournaments in the future, the Bellator president said at the post-fight press conference.

“No, not at all.” Coker responded on whether he’ll be hesitant to schedule future one-night tournaments. “If you’ve been in this business for as long as I have, there’s been tournaments for the last 20-30 years. I think a tournament has a place, but I think it depends on the athletes. We wouldn’t have done this tournament if we had four of the greatest [light heavyweights] to put them together and make this tournament very unique.

“Yeah, ‘King Mo’ got hurt, but that’s part of the tournament system.”

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